Meet The Artist: Linda Bergkvist

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  04 April 2005
Originally Posted by Enayla: I'll you what... these are the brushes I'm using for my current picture. Take a look and see if you find anything good there - a warning though, they're in terrible disarray (unnamed for added confusion)

Oh my gosh Linda! I am completly shocked! All this time I thought you used painter! But you use photoshop! I feel so weak inside O_O I was so blind...oh so very blind...*corey rushes to his room and cries*

-I dont understand, how can people blend so very well in photoshop, I personaly have alot of trouble trying to blend things with that program in comparison to painter! But both you and Olijosman are like my 2 favorite artist, and you both use photoshop only. I just dont know whats going on now...I mean the smudge tool is slow for big size pictures, I usually work5000X 5000 pixels and above so the smudge tool can be a curse for me... I feel so lost now

Last edited by CoreyArtE : 04 April 2005 at 11:21 AM.
  04 April 2005
-Vormav- -- Oj, long post :]

The empty space. Well. It's so difficult to pinpoint any one way I decide to use it. I think I'd have to go with it being part of a style, I don't really give it much thought anymore. A lot of the things that demanded thought and planning back when I first started out work out more like an instinct now. Sometimes, the empty space is there from the get-go - it has an actual purpose which is planned into the very feel of the image (to use an example - my 'Pale Voice' image was never intended to be cropped close. Originally, it had even more empty space on top - you had to scroll FOREVER to get to the boy, but I gave up a little of it because it didn't feel right). Sometimes, I'll look at an image and I'll find it a little empty, if one can say so, of empty space. Emptiness has a lot to say, too, it's not just here because there's nothing else there.

To your second question... hm, well, I'd like to say that I never use more than six layers at any given time when I paint. I should have mentioned this in the 'wow' revelations, because once I figured out that while layers are your friends, they can be backstabbing friends, I stopped using them as extensively as I had. It's better to create a layer, paint what you like on it, and then flatten them down. Otherwise the painting often ends up looking as if though you HAVE used layers. Not a very good thing at all. For the most part, I'll have the character on a layer until the background is sort of done - then I flatten it down. I'll paint features on a separate layer and as soon as I have the shape I want, I flatten them down. I work in such a large format that I really can't keep too many layers even if I wanted to.

Tales that I love, huh? Well, anything illustrated by John Bauer. I loved Pippi Långstrump. (Pipi Longstockings in English, I think?) and some of my favourite stories were written by Astrid Lindgren: Mio min Mio, Ronja Rövardotter, Bröderna Lejonhjärta. I adored the old versions of the stories that Disney, eh, Disney-fied. I adore the bloody version of Cinderella, I loved the sad, sad Little Mermaid story (man, she's supposed to die! He's supposed to turn her down!). When I was seven years old, I got my grubby little hands on my first copy of an Edgar Allan Poe book. I'd like to say that was the end of any hopes of me turning out to be a normal person. Poe changed me a lot. Poe led me to HP Lovecraft, who guided me to Stephen King, and from thereon... well... it's pretty much a straight line to where I am today (stomping through lots of Fantasy literature on the way here, but abandoning it a few years ago).

And, yeah, environment contributes greatly. I write better in my parents' cabin, for instance, where the shadows will stretch long and blue across the snow now -- than I do in my flat where the great big bed beckons. I can paint well enough when I'm at home - my mind goes wherever it likes to - but writing seems to call for that creaky old house, the stairs, the basement I could never enter at night time, or the strange door to a slanted closet that sort of rasps and creaks late at night.

cha0t1c1 -- Hahah, yeah, I wish Man that'd be a time saver!

Deffectx -- O my goodness. I don't know. Let me call my brother and ask... (calling)... he doesn't seem to be home. Tell you what, he comes home in a couple of hours or so - I'll ask him when I can, and then edit this post for you. Check back tomorrow. I seriously am a complete computer dummy. He set my computer up for me.

Serious Samm -- No, I don't think it's necessary to attend to art school. But if you don't, you need to be really serious about teaching yourself. It's a matter in that case of looking everything up on your own, of being highly critical of your own work and trying to work outside the frame. The art school I went to was not very fond of my style of work. In fact, they tried to nudge me into far more modern type of art, and I lost heart for painting for a few years until I got my hands on the wacom. I think the right kind of art school can be lovely aid, but I don't think it is absolutely necessary: you'll just have to work a lot harder. By having said that, I don't mean that you can just jump into the fray and start painting. Learn anatomy on your own if you're not in school. Learn all these things they'd teach you. It's not a matter of being able to just SKIP them, they're necessary, the computer doesn't supply you with any short cuts. Just practice and practice - even if it doesn't seem like you're improving, I promise that you are. Paint a sketch every day for thirty days and then do a comparison, you'll see :]

andersh2404 -- Hi there :] I started out with pen and paper. Watercolours and acrylics were my favourite poison for a long while... then I lost interest in painting for a couple of years and when I picked it up again, I was working on the computer. So it's both a matter of knowing the stuff from before, and starting off fresh - there's a huge gap between my last traditional painting (which was, well, many, many years ago) and the work I produce now.

Sylvana -- Thank you kindly :] That really warms my iddle black heart It's wonderful to hear that I can inspire someone - a little strange, though, as I consider myself very much still learning. And, WOW! You spotted the Calamity of Touch picture D: Yeah, it's for the same story, it's the same girl, I'm thrilled that she was recognisable. Ha ha, you've just totally made my day.

Dethol -- Hi there, and welcome to CGtalk :] I'm glad you like my stuff, thank you. As for your questions... I don't have 'live models' as such, but I have friends who are glad to spend an hour letting me take snap photos of every possible angle of the pose I want, in case I mess up when I start working on the painting late at night. Not everything is referenced, but some bits are if that makes any sense.

The inspiration for the environment is almost solely from places I've been to. Someone once pointed out to me that the light scheme in my environments is usually very subdued, and I think that's a result of this. I don't like to be out in the stark sunlight so when I'll usually be walking around, it will be a clouded but lovely day, the shadows will be blurred and the sky a soft grey. It's definitely reflected in my work. Sometimes, I'm inspired by movies - sometimes by music. Sometimes by a gorgeous photo, sometimes by something a friend tells me about. I hope that answers your question :]

Libellula -- Hi, and thank you :]
1) I'm not entirely sure. I'm working hard at it but it's a little slower than I thought. And yeah, it'll be both stories and illustrations.
2) Occasionally, yeah, I do use huge brushes. I tend to sketch in a smaller format, though, and then enlarge the sketch massively and paint over it. When I detail, I'm always using sort of smallish brushes.
3) Heheh, difficult question. I think I pretty much pick all of the colours at the same time: I settle on a colour scheme and a palette (sometimes painting the palette out before I start the actual painting) and then adapt everything accordingly. I think it's a little risky to be 'matching' colours (as in, matching the background to the skin, or the skin to the clothes, etc), and it's always better to have a general colour scheme and let everything move along with that flow :]

Francis -- Heya Francis There are, indeed, a few artists that imitate my style now. I'm not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, it's nice to inspire people, on the other hand I feel a little sorry for them as finding one's own style is one of the most important parts of painting, in my eyes. I've worked all my life to keep from painting like everyone else, to keep my own feel, my own heart and my own eyes visible in everything I do. When someone else tries to imitate all of these things, they're simply not showing enough of themselves, if that makes any sense? It can also be... well, I hate to admit it, but a tad hurtful. I've put so much heart into developing my personal style and theme, I'd hate for it to be taken out of my hands. But I'm sure most of them will pick their own poison up soon enough and leave the influence behind... I used to try to imitate other artists when I was little (much younger, like, in my early teens), and I moved beyond that when the time was right. I hope I'm making any kind of sense? Thanks - you're a huge inspiration to me, too

I N F I N I T E -- Eep! Heheh, thank you, now you made me blush D:

Desiree -- Hm, well, the smoothness is a problem. My wacom has a little bit of a problem not making a long line a little jagged, something I'll have to go back and correct with an eraser. The tools are always in the way, even when they're helping us. But, yes, when you have the money, you should try an Intuos out. The intuos has about twice the pressure sensitivity that the graphire does, so the difference is pretty immediate and obvious. Do you know anyone who has one, you could go over and try it out? I prefer Photoshop over painter but I usually use both for an image. Most of my paintings would be at least 5000-6000pixels tall or wide. I always work at 300dpi.

AGU-ART -- Aw, thank you :] Heheh, Grieg is a wonderful guy (or was, anyway). I've got nearly everything he composed and he's a huge inspiration for me when I paint. Thanks for thinking of me and pointing him out to me, even if I already knew him. He's one of my favourite composers, next to Bach and Orff. His 'in the hall of the mountain king' seriously sends chills down my spine.

I am terrible at calibrating my monitor. I used to do it with Adobe Gamma... last week, a friend dropped by with some weird tool. I have no idea what it was, he put a thingie on the screen and we waited for five minutes - then the screen was flawlessly calibrated. You see, I'm a complete dummy when it comes to the actual 'computer' side of what I do. Everyone else does that work for me

RealCapri -- Thank you I'm honoured.

Whoops, I have to take a typing break again. This time because Azrael has plopped down on my knee (and the tablet) and is demanding attention. I'll post this, and then get back to responding when he decides he wants to do something else.
I can resist everything but temptation.


Painting eyes
Painting hair
  04 April 2005
misiek1125 -- Hey, I'm glad you like what I do Thank you.

D-NA -- Ah, Nightly Forests :] It's probably my most popular painting to date. I'm happy you like it.

About the masks... I use papier mache powder. You mix it with water and you get a kind of clay which hardens really well and is easy to paint. It's a little clumsy to sculpt in, the first time around, but I've not found anything better to make masks in - mainly because most clay is much too heavy to be wearable once it's dried. Try to check with your local art store if they can order the papier mache powder (it's basically just paper mashed into iddy biddy bits, and possibly some glue added? I don't know the mix). Good luck <3

inky2 -- good morning to you, too :] You're pretty much spot on... I want to do a big, big, detailed oil painting. I'll have to re-learn the materials - it's been well over eight years since I touched oils - but I want to do it, hopefully this summer. I'll have to let my parents take care of the cat for a week and then just leap into it. I miss having my arms covered in paint up to the elbows. I miss accidentally wetting the brush with my tongue and getting paint all over my face - that stingy, icky taste in the mouth, too, I even miss that. Sigh.

Swoop -- Aw, thank you :] I feel I'm mostly confused and I ramble, when I reply to questions - I'm glad they can be a bit helpful.

Erikoinen -- You're right I'm actually just a handpuppet, ruled by my cat. He's responsible for all the pictures. Really, I swear. (Thank you!)

ANARKY -- Hi Andy, and thanks! I am enjoying it, I feel like I've been typing SO much, though. Now to the questions...
1) Furiae... hm, well, there's such a lot to tell. When I was sixteen, I realised that not a lot of girls were playing roleplaying games, and I thought - hey, I can try this, I can do this, I can attempt something that will appeal to both girls and boys. So I started writing on this world, and I invited four girl friends to try it out. We had a blast. Soon the group had grown - I had loads of people playing in this world, on and off, probably about twenty of them separated into smaller groups. From then on, I've been working on it, rewriting the background and adding to the mythology. There's really a little bit 'too' much to put into a reply like this. Furiae is a world where the surface is very, very beautiful. It was created, after all, by a bunch of very vain and lovely Gods -- but they were flawed, their hearts were flawed, their spirits are sometimes wicked and often egotistic and it's left its imprint on the world. Just underneath all that prettiness, there's something brewing. There's murder and betrayal and black, soiled souls hiding under pretty faces, there's rot under the shining cities, there are things happening that people like to pretend would never happen. Not in a place like that, not anywhere, not ever. Furiae isn't, of course, filled with only pretty people - that's not what I mean when I say that it's a beautiful place. It's more that it's something I'd like to paint, the landscapes are deep and rich, the forests are vast and stunning, the cities point their spires high, high, bravely to the sky and the gods have eyes like crystal beads, with emotions like colour underneath. See? I can't really go on like this, I'll write an entire essay.
2) Haha, a vampire or a drow? I'd prefer to be neither. Vampires ruled by their bloodthirst, and me a vegetarian, and drows being slaves to their queen - and I think she's got something to do with spiders, right? There are spiders involved somewhere? *shudder*
3) I've not actually kicked the campaign off yet :[ I've simply not had the time to finish it, and my players haven't all written the small essay I demand on their characters before we start off. So, I can't really give you a reply to the question yet, heheh.
4) Oh my goodness. That's a cruel question. I honestly can't say, it so depends on my mood. I love Sleepy Hollow - I have a huge poster that's almost as tall as me hanging on my wall. It makes me shiver and squeal with joy whenever I watch it. Just the most beautiful movie I've ever seen, and the horror theme is spot on what I love. I ADORE Edward Scissorhands - it's a flawless fairytale, there's just so much about that movie that I could gush about. The contrast between the bluish, smooth, fairytale colours of Edward and the all-too bright tones of the suburbs is just one of the many things that make it rock. Then we have Big Fish *happy sigh*. I could watch that movie a thousand times and still love it. I had no idea that McGregor would fit so well into a Burton movie, but there you go. Then there's Ed Wood, oh man.... Beetle Juice! One of my early favourite movies, ever. Vincent! Whee! And, oh my god, Corpse Bride and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - I'll be so bowled over it won't even be funny. And last, but not least, Nightmare Before Christmas. *drool* That movie changed my life. It honestly did. I've watched it more times than any other movie I've ever owned - I should guess it'd add up to about fifty or sixty now (I'm not kidding). I'll flick it on in the background when I work, I'll listen to the soundtrack when I'm sad... oh my, I'm such a helpless fangirl *weep*

anim_ziggy -- Hi :] Well, it depends on how you define art school. In Sweden, we have something called 'Gymnasiet', which you attend to in between the ages of sixteen and nineteen (or just abouts, three years, you can be a bit older if you apply at a later age). During these years, I studied art, but also language, maths, history, etc. They even made us dance and play music D: Lots of life drawing classes, sculpting, photography and such to keep me happy though.

Squibbit -- haha, you're such a darling. The weird answer to your question is -- I've already tried eating flowers. Both of the hoity toity kind (like candy violets, yum!) and ordinary, regular flowers, just because I was curious (when younger) if roses tasted as nicely as they smell. I'd say, no. No, they don't taste very nice. I don't think I'd care to repeat the experience, unless someone finds a really tasty kind of flower for me to munch on

CoreyArtE -- Hahaha, aw, I'm so sorry to disappoint. I do occasionally work in Painter but I mainly do texture work there. I can't seem to be as precise and detailed when I use it, as when I use Photoshop. As for Photoshop being slow... I actually find Painter slower, hehe. What you need to do is work big, with big brushes, make the nice transitions and blendings with pressure sensitivity and huge soft edged round brushes to begin with, and then only smudge the iddy biddy parts when you zoom in. Can't use huge smudges, that really makes the computer hiccup.

And, yay! That's it! I've caught up! *prances, proud*
I can resist everything but temptation.


Painting eyes
Painting hair
  04 April 2005
Hey linda,

you`re the artist who made me so furious and jealous that i started drawing a year ago :P i even got a wacom cuz of you, and now it all might be turning into a career so thanks alot for that, you`ve been a great inspiration. in fact your nose tutorial pushed my art to a whole new level.

I`m wondering if you`ve heard of tablet pcs. its basicly a wacom tablet, but with less pressure sensitivity and intergrated into the screen of a lap top. i dont know if you travel much (i got one because i have to) but its nice for working outside if you get a ruggadized one. pretty cool little thingy

1)do you still do traditional painting and have you tried it lately?
2)were you ever frustrated with having a small audience?
3)how many sites do you post on? any ones you particularily recommend?
4)does hate mail make you sad?
5)how did you come up with your names?
6)hows mr. kitty? tell him i said hi :P mwaha

aand finally. i have an idea and its one my mom and i came up with. i want to paint it, but it uses the characters you came up with in your world. its sort of fan art but not really. i read before that you are really close the to characters in your artwork and such. would you be offended if i did it?
  04 April 2005
dam it,too late
  04 April 2005
thanks Linda for replying! Keep us inspired please...

ps..I remember gymnasiet.. have lived in Stockholm for a couple of years! He he and I took the same subjects.
To animate? or to matte paint?

  04 April 2005
Hello Linda,

First i want to thank you for sharing your art with us and make us discover your tips and technique

My question is about 3D...

What about 3D graphics in your works and in your mind...?
I mean do you think we can express feeling in 3D as much as in 2D painting and did you ever think to learn it and try to reproduce your style in a 3d composition ? Did you think about that or are you focused on 2D painting only ...?

Thanks in advance !

Sorry for the english btw :\
  04 April 2005
yea I guessed u might have tasted flowers,cool

I don't remember doing that , which is a bit odd .
I wonder what might have stopped me

anyways to aquire such a memory I'll test a couple
of flowers during the summer and if i find a tasty
one i'll send it to u
  04 April 2005
Hey Linda! Wonderful to see you in the Q&A section! I was wondering when they'd pick you to be a guest. YAY!

I'm VERY new to digital painting, but I'm lovin' it... and seeing your work (among so many other talented artists in the CGTalk community) has inspired me GREATLY. I won't ask you much in the way of technique... I love what you do and how you do it, but I'm still trying to 'find' my stylistic approach to the digital medium. *sigh* lots of trial and error ahead for me, I'm afraid. Love reading thru your answers here too... learning ALOT about you, tee hee!

Just wondering when your book is due to come out... and where I can grab a copy of that sucka! I love fiction and I love art... A BRILLIANT COMBINATION!

my CGPortfolio
my BLOG of art goodness
my MASTER & SERVANT 2D entry

I'm dancin' like a monkey!
  04 April 2005
Yulias -- Hey, that's awesome I'm thrilled that I could help inspire you into getting into painting. Whee! And yeah, I've heard about one of those... but I bought a hugely expensive bed just recently, I'm sort of broke. *sheepish*
1) No, I don't. I honestly wish I had the time for it but it seems like all I do these days is sit in front of the computer and paint - or hang out with friends and family (or read! I read massive amounts). I've not even got any traditional material left, no pens, no paper. It's pathetic.
2) No. Not really. I never really aimed for any kind of fame - it was by chance that I uploaded my first paintings to Elfwood (man, that's a lifetime ago), and I sort of slipped into all of this without meaning to. I love having an audience, I get so much input from the people around me, but that was never why I did any of this nor did I think about these things when I uploaded pictures to a new gallery.
3) At the moment... I'm really only updating my own site, and CGtalk. I do have oodles of galleries out there, many of which I've long forgotten about or abandoned, but I ended up losing heart. It was just too much to keep up with, too many questions asked and so many upset emotions when I couldn't answer it all. It's nicer to be able to keep up with one community than to try to keep up with (and fail!) five different. From what I remember, I liked both GFXartist and Epilogue.
4) Yes. Yes it does. People have been at it ever since I first started - it might have something to do with me being a girl, I know some of my friend female artists have the same problem. It always seem like a "die bitch" will cause a lot more damage than a "I like your work" helps out. It's horrible that it works like that but I'm a very self-critical person. I have a much easier time accepting harsh criticism than I have accepting praise, if that makes any sense. I've grown a bit more thick-skinned over the years but some things still get to me. I try to be as nice as I possibly can to everyone, help anyone who asks out, and do what I can for the community - I just don't know what it is that I do that should call for such hatred, you know?
5) I have a very weird mind. Names are so easy to come up with, but they're always sort of weird. I just come up with a sound that fits the character. Sometimes, they're inspired by characters in old mythology but for the most part I just blurt them out.
5) Azrael's doing splendidly. He's howling for a walk out in the sun, so I think I'll have to give him just that when I've taken a bath (it looks like a bird has built a nest on top of my head)

As for painting something with my characters - I don't mind at all :] Just give credit where it's due, and send me a link so I can see it.

Cipher -- I definitely think that 3D can express as much as 2D can. I'm not talented at it myself - I tried and failed miserably, and I just can't seem to wrap my mind around the technical side... but I'm learning a LOT from the 3D art community. I think 2D artists should take a long, careful look at how 3D artists are handling their subjects and try to relearn some of the things we think we know. I don't think I'm going to jump into it, though, it's a little too technical for me, too many things to think about, too much to learn. I still feel like I have so much to learn in 2D art, nevermind trying to get into something entirely new.

Squibbit -- Hahah, yay! sounds like a splendid idea.

Artjunkie -- Whee, thank you Are you new to digital painting?? D: I couldn't have guessed, looking at how you paint. Awesome. I'm not sure when the book is due, man, I wish I knew. I have to rewrite some of the stories and rework some of the stuff, it's slow work, I've been feeling a little down and blue lately which doesn't make it any easier, you know?

Now I'm going to go take a bath. If there are any other questions when I return, I'll get right on them. No one's too late :]
I can resist everything but temptation.


Painting eyes
Painting hair
  04 April 2005
okay, thanks so much im not sure when ill get that picture finished because its a bit difficult. ill email you or something when i do get it done and ill credit you for all of the characters

thanks alot
  04 April 2005
Hi Linda!!!

Really wonderful of you to be willing to help us out like that!

I didn't want to ask anything, but since there are seemingly more noobs around I will. Everybody seems to have asked a load of relevant questions. And I must say it's very enlightening.

I'm just getting my first gazes at colour painting, I only did some lines for amusement in the past. It took me a while to figure out that I want to entertain. But now I'm there and want to get dead serious about 2D and 3D. Trouble is I'm being trained for other stuff, filmstuff.Only production designers get the traditional/2D training. And well, it wasn't mindboggling.

So I've made three colour paintings on my computer, and twice that many ever. So I'm fresh to this, but I'm going to have to teach myself everything so here goes:

1) Does one have to be Swedish to paint well?

2) What should really be on my mind on a second to second bases to learn fast and well? In regards to painting on a computer. I mean, there are loads of resources but I haven't read them and I have little time to read them all. What books knowledge has helped you best. Or was it enough to be inspired again. (gees is that one question, :rolleyes

3) What would you personnally want to tell artists in all fields? I mean, if they haven't found their hold on the jugg yet?

I forgot the rest...



modelling practice #1

Last edited by jmBoekestein : 04 April 2005 at 12:44 PM. Reason: haste steadily my friend...
  04 April 2005 work hard and make enormous progress ........
  04 April 2005
Hei Linda.

1. I have heard that you're making a fairytale book, but I don't recall hearing its title. What is it going to be called and will it be relesed all over the world?

2. When rolepaying, what class and race do/did you usually play as?
3. Do/did you roleplay whit computer/video-games, on a forum or traditionally?
  04 April 2005
Reading over so many responses it amazes me how much you help everyone. I'm one of the many people who you've inspired to work more on my wacom tablet than I ever have over the past few weeks and I've already started to see a drastic improvement in my technique. Before I merely got the tablet to work on some matte paintings (very slow in comparison to just painting), but now I can't put my pen down. Starting off as a 3D artist, I'm REALLY enjoying the change of work. For this I wanted to say thank you.

Now to a quick say that nature, movies, music, and a little bit of other art are your influences, but I was wondering if there was any specific form of nature that really interests you. I know when I'm trying to draw, my imagination runs wild if it's storming outside with the rain beating on the windows and the roof. It only becomes a problem when the power goes OUT! Also when I have to drive to work very early in the morning I always pass by this collection of lakes/ponds that have very thick mist on top of them usually which always makes me smile as I drive by...I was wondering if there were any little things in nature that spark your interest/imagination like this.

I also read the part where you were talking about working uninspired is considerably more difficult than when you are really into a piece. I feel the same way, but when I'm having trouble getting into something all I have to do is load up a few artists portfolios that I feel are disgustingly good (your website would be at the top of that list ) and I'm instantly back into the groove since it's my goal to achieve that level some day. Do things like this not work for someone of your level?

One last thing before I get to start painting! A few people already mentioned your book, Furiae, which I'm extremely interested in getting a copy of as well. Although I'm not an avid reader, when I find a book that keeps me interested then I cannot put it down... REALLY looking forward to that one and anxiously awaiting the day there's a headline about it on CGTalk!

With how much you have to read, I'm sorry I posted something this long, but getting the chance to talk to someone who inspires me so much gets me worked up. I can't wait to see more of your work! Back to Photoshop I go!
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